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Michigan auto dealer thrives with MBLs from CU
OSCODA, Mich. (11/29/11)--A second-generation Michigan auto dealer is thriving with the help of financing from a local credit union.

A  partnership with Northland Area CU, Oscoda, Mich., has helped Lincoln Truck and SUV grow into  $1.5 million annual business. Lenny Bobick Jr., owner of Lincoln Truck & SUV, stands with office manager Pamela Joslin.
Lincoln Truck and SUV is owned by Lenny Bobick Jr. The property was once the site of a Gulf gas station owned by Bobick's parents. After his father, Leonard Bobick Sr. passed away in 1989, Lenny bought the business from his mother, Josephine. In 2001, Northland Area FCU, Oscoda, Mich., arranged a business line of credit that allowed the younger Bobick to purchase inventory (Michigan Credit Union League Michigan Monitor Nov. 28).

Bobick made renovations and expansions, including the addition of a 3,200-square-foot auto service center that helped strengthen customer service and build the auto dealer's brand. He also bought additional property and added a 30-vehicle display lot. Northland helped finance each new project with member business loans.

"Northland Area FCU has helped our business grow, without a doubt," Bobick told the Michigan Credit Union League . "Northland Area FCU has helped us get access to capital, increase our inventory to meet demand and physically grow. Lincoln Truck and SUV has a solid relationship with Northland going back many years, and their continuing support has been the key to our ability to succeed, even in tough economic times. I think every small business needs three things: Honesty, good products--and a solid credit union in your corner."

Today, Lincoln Truck and SUV is a $1.5 million-a-year business, specializing in pre-owned, affordable vehicles in the $10,000 to $20,000 range.

Lenny Bobick Jr. started Lincoln Truck and SUV  by purchasing his father's gas station through a small business loan from Northland Area FCU. (Photos provided by Michigan Credit Union League)
Bobick has made a name for himself by personally finding vehicles for his customers, using his contacts and attending auctions.

"Our credit union is proud to help small businesses in our community at a time when others are saying no," said Don Grant, head of Northland Area FCU's lending department. "We've helped area businesses with over $28 million in loans. Local businesses like Lincoln Truck and SUV are the engines literally driving our local economy and creating jobs. Credit unions like Northland want to do even more to help small businesses and anyone with a good business idea."

Credit unions' small-business lending could potentially grow even more with the right policies, said the Michigan league. The U.S. Senate Banking Committee is considering raising credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current cap of only 12.25%. Increasing the small-business lending cap could potentially pump $13 billion into the economy and create 140,000 new jobs in small businesses without any taxpayer costs, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).


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